It has been nearly two weeks since I have been discharged.
Going into hospital is often the place of respite for me. Its like I am a train that is about to break through the boom gates and fly off the tracks, but just in time my psychiatrist, AKA “my fat controller” changes the tracks. My course is diverted. In fact I come to a crashing stop. The world is thrown forward.
So how do I feel now. The “outside world” as we inpatients call it. Is so incredibly hard. I want to be back on the inside, despite my tears at every admission.
Life in hospital is so easy. The roles of consumer, advocate, teacher, academic, wife, pet owner, small shop owner, church participant, friend, daughter and carer. Just become one, the consumer. The role that is totally focused on myself.
And that train that had its tracks changed, well now that its back on the outside, it feels like its back on the same tracks.
The funny thing is, we are most concerned about people who are in hospital. Its like the suicide attempt is the “oh shit moment, they really are struggling”. “So lets show this person how much we care and tell them how much we love them and how much we need them”.
BUT have they not been struggling the whole time? Have we had our shades on. The closest friends I have in my life are the ones who do not jump and go crazy that I am in hospital again. Sometimes I might not even hear from them in hospital.
Because they know I need to just focus on me. They are the people who help me get the train going once I am out. Who love the train wreck in motion.
Every time I go to hospital I am bombarded with statements from friends and family such as, “I thought you were doing better, what happened? Can I come see you (family or friends I haven’t heard or seen from in ages)”. Even the day before I tried to end my life “you look good” “you sound good”.
Its a delusion we tell ourselves… “they are okay”, therefore I don’t need to help.
And now that I am out. “thats fantastic you are out”, “are you back at work, that great”, “you look good”.
I read somewhere that most suicide victims had one person aware that they were going to take their life. But I really question how mindful we are at paying attention to others. Perhaps a flickering thought of “I think this person is not okay” might cross your mind. Instead of ignoring it, invest in it.
So really just as the people on the inside need help, more desperately its the people who are struggling on the outside who need the support. We need the help BEFORE the crisis event. Because others unlike the ‘lucky me’ do not have a fat controller like Thomas who can change the rails to a station for a service called hospital, where there are no passengers but mind mechanics.
Just as two weeks ago I had everything done for me in hospital. My cooking, cleaning, no house hold chores, no work, just therapy. I couldn’t believe how tired I was just from doing therapy, the one role I had.
But now on the outside I am thrust back into doing all these things and more. Even people wanting ridiculous things from me.
I have unanswered messages and emails. Friendships I can’t keep up with. I am not dressing. I am in bed at three crying and I don’t want to eat. But people think hospital means “better”.
I guess the one thing I am doing well is my art.
Because here I am knowing too well that my life is going to involve having more crisis events, more ED admissions and an inpatient admission every year for respite from myself and the world. I am left to accept this. But I watch people move on with their lives, have children and work. And here I am, thinking what purpose does my life serve.
Once so motivated by work. I have realised I am just covering my life with layers of avoidance. I am terrified to be left alone with my mind. So I fill my canvas with so many things so that the paint is just running off. It can’t hold on any more. And as soon as I stop, this unbearable pain takes hold of me.
So what now, after discharge. People see it, people say it, but I don’t feel it. God and others keep telling me, I am a voice for people with BPD.
SO here is the honest truth. People with BPD are struggling so much more than you know. They may look good, dress good, sound good, but take a closer look. There is so much more going on. We don’t want the reaction that comes with the suicide attempt. I still wish I was dead. However, that clearly isn’t God’s plan for you or me.
The Discharge Plan from an OT Perspective:
– Allow this person to rest on the outside
– Acknowledgement of this person’s pain on the outside
– Help on the onside
– The opening of eyes on the outside
– The relocation of help to the outside
– And importantly my readjustment of self-care to the outside.